Houston and Galveston Get 3.7 Million From Grant

The Houston-Galveston area is getting more than 3 million dollars from the federal government in the form of a special grant. The money is supposed to be used for smarter and sustainable planning. Bill Stamps reports.

Mayor Annise Parker along with Congress members Al Green, Gene Green and Sheila Jackson Lee stood side-by-side to make the announcement. A 3.7 million dollar grant from the federal government to make Houston a sustainable community. This is Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Edward Pringle.

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From left to right: Representative Sheila Jackson Lee , Mayor Annise Parker, Representatives Al Green and Gene Green, Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Edward Pringle

“When we talk about sustainable, we look at the communities itself. Planners in the communities look at having their citizens be able to walk to places, instead of trying to drive to get across town, taking up additional time, making sure jobs are available. Green issues come up and that very viable.”

So where exactly will this 3.7 million dollars go? It appears the answer isn’t a simple one. Here’s Congress members Gene Green and Sheila Jackson Lee.

“Whether it be for the Port of Houston, whether it be for the medical center and the research dollars that we put in there, or whether it be for the metro, we work together to make sure that our communities are sustainable, but we need to have the planning to be able to do that.”

“The 3.7 million plus will be the down payment for us to be able to work with Housing and Urban Development, EPA, the transportation department.”

Both Congress members mentioned housing, transportation , jobs and sustainability, but didn’t give any specifics. I asked Director Pringle where he thought the money was going.

“It’s not just going to one specific place. This is a regional approach to make sure that the region is viable.”

If you look up the term sustainable community on the internet you’ll find a number of different definitions. One site says sustainability is uniquely defined by each community. Which in this case would mean Houston and Galveston could spend the 3.7 million in any form they want, as long as the leaders believe it makes the area more sustainable.